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“Spooktacular” robotics scrimmage aims to create opportunity

Molly Lierbergall, Web News Editor

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On Saturday, Oct. 31 while many will be finalizing costumes and carving pumpkins, i²robotics will be hosting a competition, dubbed the “Spooktacular Scrimmage,” in honor of Halloween.  All profits will go towards helping a robotics team in Haiti

The 2010 earthquake put a hold on Haiti’s participation in First Lego League (FLL), an international real-world scientific competition organized for students ranging from nine years-old to 16 years-old.  i²robotics has been very successful in supporting the future of an FLL program in Haiti.

At last year’s scrimmage, “the team raised over $2000…ensuring that the FLL program could make a comeback after being put on hold since the devastating Earthquake,” i²robotics co-captain Julia Schorr ’16 said.  “It was an amazing event and I know this year is going to be even better!”

In addition to helping Haiti through fundraisers and robot part donations, the event also teaches students in America and in Haiti about programming, engineering and math.

“It’s a nice win win,” co-coach Reina Sauer said.  “Help some kids locally, help some kids globally.”  Although the event is a competition, it is very friendly and focuses on teamwork.  

As a more advanced group, i²robotics seeks to “help mentor and assist rookie or second-year teams that come with their robots,” team member Annie Gao ’16 said.

“We find that as mentors we get a lot out of it, we learn a lot, we think the students learn a lot, and we’re always surprised at how much we learn that’s not technical,” Sauer said, speaking for himself and his wife.

“This event is really meaningful because it allows our team to give back to robotics teams locally, and at the same time help teams in Haiti,” Schorr said.  “It also provides us with the opportunity to connect with community members and get people interested in robotics.”

 

This year, the teams will participate in robot challenges like climbing hills and placing balls in bins before spectators who can also participate in various raffles.  The event will take place between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. but head coach Terry Sauer recommends attending between 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. for the most robot activity.

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